Ian Walsh (rugby league)
20 March 1933|
Bogan Gate, New South Wales, Australia
|Died||4 April 2013
Forbes, New South Wales, Australia
|1959–66||New South Wales||4||0||0||0||0|
Ian John Walsh (20 March 1933 – 4 April 2013) was an Australian former rugby league footballer and coach. He was a hooker with the St. George Dragons during their 11 year consecutive premiership winning run from 1956 to 1966. He was a representative in the Australian national team and captained his country in 10 Test matches from 1963 to 1966.
Born on 20 March 1933 in Bogan Gate near Parkes in western New South Wales, Walsh played in country sides at Parkes, Forbes and Eugowra. He was selected to represent the Western Division when they hosted the 1951 French touring side and lost. It was as a country representative that his international début was against New Zealand in 1959, and later that year was selected for the 1959-60 Kangaroo tour. He played in all six Tests and in 17 minor tour matches.
Walsh joined St George in 1962 and played ninety-six games till 1967, playing in four winning Grand Finals (1962, 1963, 1965 and 1966). His first Test as captain was on the 1963 Tour of Great Britain which saw the Kangaroos become the first Australian touring team in 50 years to win the Ashes. He was skipper for the "Swinton Massacre" 2nd test of that tour when the Kangaroos registered the biggest win in Anglo-Australian test history, 50-12. After the retirement of Norm Provan in 1965, Walsh took on the role of St. George's captain-coach. In 1966 he achieved a rare distinction becoming the only player to captain-coach his country to an Ashes series victory and his club to a premiership. He played a total of twenty-five tests for Australia from 1959 to 1966. The Dragons' star players were growing old, the young and brutal South Sydney Rabbitohs were looming as title contenders and the inevitable end to the run had to be approaching. Nevertheless Walsh was able to lead the Dragons against the Balmain Tigers to their 11th straight victory and the end of their run.
After retiring as a player Walsh coached the Parramatta Eels to the semi finals of the 1971 NSWRFL season before becoming a successful columnist with the Daily Telegraph for over 20 years and a Country and State selector. He worked in sales in the printing industry in Sydney.
Walsh died on 4 April 2013 at the age of 80 after a long illness.
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- Writer, Larry (1995) Never Before, Never Again, Pan MacMillan, Sydney
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- Peter Cassidy (2008-02-23). "Controversy reigns as NRL releases top 100 players". Macquarie National News. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
- "Centenary of Rugby League - The Players". NRL & ARL. 2008-02-23. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
- "Rugby league great Ian Walsh dies". Sky News. 4 April 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
St George Dragons